A Fond Farewell to Finland’s Cool, Clubbing Prime Minister

Sanna Marin's party narrowly lost the country’s election over the weekend, meaning we've just lost our favorite dancing PM.

A Fond Farewell to Finland’s Cool, Clubbing Prime Minister
Sanna Marin, leader of the Social Democrats, speaks to members of the media after an early vote tally at the Parliament Building in Helsinki, Finland, on Sunday, April 2, 2023. Photo:Roni Rekomaa/Bloomberg (Getty Images)

Put away your rave outfits, pour out your beers; Finland is going back to normal, I guess.

Sanna Marin, the country’s cool 37-year-old prime minister, who became the world’s youngest head of state in 2019, will no longer be in power following Sunday’s elections, where her party lost by less than a percentage point.

While we’re mourning the loss of a head of state who really understands work-life balance, Marin is gracefully passing the torch. “Democracy has spoken, the Finnish people have cast their vote, and the celebration of democracy is always a wonderful thing,” Marin said in a concession speech on Sunday.

Marin first caught the my attention when she had to apologize for partying. No, she didn’t drive drunk as a result of too many shooters, but she did leave her work phone at the office, go out dancing, and miss a text saying she’d been exposed to covid. We love a woman who respects working hours! Still, Marin was contrite: “I am very sorry for not understanding that I needed” to isolate after a possible exposure despite being double vaccinated, she wrote on social media, per BBC News.

Her story was supported around the world. Danish women supported her by sharing their own photos and videos of themselves partying. It turns out women, no matter their country of residence, get it! We all need to cut loose!

I would also like to commend Marin for weathering every-day sexism without punching anyone in the face, as I might have done in her position. In November 2022, for instance, a male reporter asked Marin and then-New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern if they were meeting because they were both youngish women, like there couldn’t be any other reason for two world leaders to be conversing other than just having a lady goss session. “My first question is if anyone ever asked Barack Obama and John Key if they met because they were of similar age?” Ardern replied, referencing John Key, who was New Zealand’s prime minister for eight years. Points were made.

Marin’s general enjoyment of life didn’t get in the way of her government making some big accomplishments, of course. Her country is in its final steps to joint NATO after putting in an application in May 2022. The Finnish flag will be raised at NATO headquarters on Tuesday, as it joins the alliance as its 31st member nation. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg characterized this path as the “fastest ratification process” in NATO’s modern era on Monday.

Marin is likely to be succeeded by Petteri Orpo, 53. Adieu to our cool Nordic prime minister! Her reign was certainly fun while it lasted

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